This paper introduces new flexural pivot tilting pad gas bearings for high speed oil-free micro turbomachinery. The new flexural pivot tilting pad gas bearings have a special web geometry that provides a radial stiffness to accommodate rotor growths and high vibrations at critical speed, a pitching stiffness to accommodate rotor-bearing misalignments or rotor bending vibrations, and a very small tilting stiffness for rotor stability. Comprehensive numerical simulations involving orbit simulations and coast-down simulations were performed to investigate the effects of preloads and pivot offsets on the critical speeds and onset speeds of instability. Higher preload and pivot offset increased both critical speeds of the rotor-bearing system and onset speeds of instability due to the increased wedge effect. Design procedures of radial stiffness were presented considering both rotor centrifugal and thermal growths. From simple adiabatic solution of temperature distribution of gas film under pure hydrodynamic mode, enough bearing clearance at pivot was found to be a very important design aspect for high speed hydrodynamic gas bearings. Asymmetric radial stiffness was chosen as a final design to meet the target design speed of 180 krpm for bearing diameter of 28.52mm. Suggested tilting pad gas bearing with asymmetric radial stiffness was predicted to be very stable even under high external destabilizing forces.

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